Baseball is a sport that always has the ability to surprise and delight us. Whether it’s the drama of a World Series or the intrigue of the perfect game, there’s always something about the sport that keeps us coming back for more.
One of the most interesting aspects of baseball is the terminology that is used when placing bets and analyzing results. If you’re someone who regularly bets on sports, then you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with some of these terms. Just like with any sport, there are certain nomenclature that is specific to baseball betting and analyzing odds. Although it can be a bit daunting at first, getting to know these terms and learning how they apply in baseball betting can make a world of difference in your understanding of the game.
What is 5u?
If you’re unfamiliar, 5u is the abbreviation for both the 5Dimes odds and the U.S. dollar. These are the two most commonly used odds/dollar combinations in baseball betting. The 5Dimes odds are calculated by dividing 100 by the amount of money on the betting line. Thus, 5Dimes odds represent a 50/50 chance of winning or losing the bet. The U.S. dollar is the default currency used in baseball betting, so all odds/dollar combinations are really just 5u odds.
As the saying goes, ‘all odds are really just 5Dimes odds’, but there are a few exceptions. Some sportsbooks and betting sites do use other odds/dollar combinations. One of the most popular oddities is the 3Dimes odds. This is commonly used when moneyline betting on basketball and football. It stands for $3 a pop, or a 100/1 shot of winning the bet. The 3Dimes odds were first utilized in the 2002 World Series, when the Arizona Diamondbacks faced off against the New York Yankees. The Yankees were favored to win the series by three to one, but the Diamondbacks surprised everyone by taking the series in seven games. Since that series, 3Dimes odds have been used in several major sports events, including the NBA Finals, College Football Playoff, and more recently, the 2019 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
What is 4u?
The 4u odds represent an even spread or two teams playing each other a home and away. Thus, 4u stands for ‘two units’ or ‘two to one’. This is a fairly straightforward concept, as spreading the two teams’ winning probability in half again makes for a neat 50/50 shot.
However, the 4u odds can get a bit more complicated. There are situations where two teams are considered to be evens or where one team is clearly favored over the other. In these cases, the sportsbook will sometimes use what is known as an ‘over/under’ or ‘o/u’ line. The general idea behind these phrases is to create an even playing field or give one team a distinct advantage in the betting odds. The ‘over/under’ line is usually used in basketball and football, with the point spread acting as the incentive for people to engage in this type of wagering. For example, in a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers might be -7.0 over/under points, which indicates that the over/under bet on the game is worth $7.00. This is in contrast to a standard 4u bet where the payout would be $2.00.
What is 6u?
The 6u odds represent the favorite team winning by six or more points. This is one of the most popular odds in sports because it gives the bettor a much greater chance of winning, and therefore, a greater motivation to place a wager. Thus, 6u stands for ‘six units’ or ‘one six’ in baseball betting. This is a very potent combination, as one six in any sport is considered to be a tremendous bargain.
However, being the favorite doesn’t guarantee success. It takes a lot of winning to attain this point, and the opposite is also true. In order to maximize their payout, sportsbooks sometimes will use what is known as a ‘handicap’ to reduce the favorite’s winning probability by 10%, 20%, or 30%. For example, in the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, the Brewers are a -110 handicap, which means they are favored to win by 11.0 points. The Reds are represented by +150 handicap, indicating that they are 15.0 points under par to win the game. A handicap is applied to a team in a particular sport in order to create an even playing field or give one team an advantage in the betting odds. For more on handicapping, see this blog post.
What is 3u?
The 3u odds represent three teams playing each other a home and away. Thus, 3u is an abbreviation for ‘three units’ or ‘three to one’. This is a good number for someone who wants to maximize their winnings but hates the idea of laying down multiple bets. Instead, they want to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their buck by using three-plus-one odds. Being the middle man is never fun, but when there’s money to be made, it’s sometimes necessary.
What is 1u?
The one-unit odds represent an absolute favorite or an underdog team winning by a single unit, such as a point or a goal. This is a bit of a tricky one, as there is no standard abbreviation for a one-unit win. The most common way of expressing this type of bet in layman’s terms is through the use of moneyline betting. For example, if a person places a bet on the New York Yankees in the 2019 World Series and chooses moneyline, then they will receive a 1u payout if the Yankees win the series by one game. In that scenario, the sportsbook will make money regardless of whether the Yankees win or lose the game. However, if they were to win the series by multiple games, then the payout would be multiplied by the number of games won.
What is an Over/Under?
An over/under represents a bet on either team winning the game X amount of points, with X being the number of points scored beyond what is implied by the line. For example, if the line on a football game is 45 points, then an over/under bet would be 45 points either way. In a nutshell, over/under betting is a way of spreading one’s bets over two separate sports, with each set of bets being backed by the same monetary funds. Thus, the over/under is really just an odd way of looking at two separate bets. The most popular forms of over/under betting are applied to basketball and football, with the former being the most popular form.
What is a Push?
A push represents a team winning by a larger amount than expected or by a smaller amount than expected. For example, if the San Francisco Giants were to win the World Series by seven games to five, then that would be categorized as a push. One of the significant hurdles that the average person faces when getting to know sports betting is the sheer volume of jargon that is thrown around. Although it can be a bit overwhelming, constantly having to look up new terms and combinations is what makes sports such a fun and rewarding hobby.